Monday, 26 Jul 2021

CCTV shows moment uncle left woods where he 'murdered niece and set her on fire'

A man accused of killing his niece in a ‘sexually motivated’ attack was captured on CCTV strolling out of a secluded woodland where the alleged murder took place.

Shane Mays, 30, who is on trial for murdering Louise Smith when she was 16, was also filmed casually buying pizzas in Iceland four hours after she was killed.

As Mays went out to buy the food, his wife CJ – Louise’s aunt – ‘frantically’ tried to call the missing teenager and Louise’s worried boyfriend went out searching for her, a court heard yesterday.

Aspiring veterinary nurse Louise vanished in Havant, Hampshire, at 12.49pm on May 8. The prosecution allege Mays ‘lured’ her one and a half miles away to Havant Thicket and then murdered her and burnt the body.

‘Typical teenager’ Louise – who only started living with Mays and his wife CJ two weeks before her death – was found with her skull smashed, her body ‘terribly’ defiled, and was burned in what has been described as a ‘cruel and brutal’ murder.

The footage shown in court was filmed at 3.11pm on May 8 and shows Mays returning from allegedly murdering Louise.

On foot and wearing a red t-shirt, he can be seen walking through Havant before he stops at his mother’s house as he is ‘very sweaty and thirsty’ then returns home at 3.57pm.

At 4.47pm, as CJ and Louise’s boyfriend Bradley Kercher begin to panic over her whereabouts, Mays can be seen strolling to the shops.

Still wearing the red t-shirt, he walks through an empty shopping precinct while others celebrate VE day and heads into Iceland, buys four pizzas, then pops into Tesco before heading home around 5pm.

Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC has said: ‘He’s at home all those times his wife is phoning Louise to find out where she is, and obviously he didn’t want to tell her.

‘So what he did, is go out and buy pizzas. He had with him four pizzas – he knew Louise was dead at this time.’

Mays, who denies murder but admits manslaughter, has been branded a ‘predator’. Mr Newton-Price has previously told the court: ‘The burned and decomposed state of Louise’s body was such that we cannot say exactly which of her multiple injuries caused her death.

‘But it is clear that her killer lured or persuaded her to walk to a remote location where he attacked her.

‘We say you can conclude that this was an act of unimaginable cruelty towards a vulnerable 16 year old girl.

‘The shattering of the bones and the structure of her face, including the complete detachment of her jawbone, indicates multiple blows to her head.

‘The most intimate part of her body was penetrated with breathtaking brutality.

‘There is background evidence that Louise was unhappy in the care of Mays and his wife and that she, an adolescent, was drinking heavily in their flat on the night before she disappeared.

‘Louise Smith was just 16. She was anxious, needy, mentally fragile and vulnerable to attentions of a predatory man who was apparently flirting with her and living in the same small flat.’

Mays he attacked Louise with a series of punches after he ‘lost his temper’ during an argument but says he did not defile her or set fire to her body. The trial continues.

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